This Gold-Reined Digger Wasp (Sphex habenis) is my 300th wild observation on iNaturalist for the Evelyn Jackson Wild Life Garden! Named for the U-shaped gold “rein” on the top of the abdomen, this large wasp has short gold or silver hairs on the head and thorax. You can tell she’s a female because her abdomen is black, not red. She’s about an inch long, with thick, sturdy-looking femurs (thighs). I spotted her on July 4th, which had record-tying heat of 101°F.

She’s visiting Clustered Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum muticum), one of the top pollinator plants in SunCurve.

Learn more about the Golden-reined Digger Wasp on